Arts Compose a Healthy Economy in Philadelphia

Stephan Salisbury details how the cultural sector in Philadelphia has grown to support the region's economic vitality.
September 26, 2012, 7am PDT | Emily Williams
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In the state of Pennsylvania, arts and cultural organizations are a boon to the local economy, especially in Philadelphia. These agencies are creating jobs and generating "a total of $3.3 billion in direct and indirect expenditures every year."

According to a study released this week by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, "Cultural activity generates nearly $170 million in state and local taxes annually and supports 44,000 jobs within the city and its four suburban Pennsylvania counties."

These findings have prompted more interest in public investment in the sector, which the city's chief cultural officer Gary Steuer refers to as "a real economic-development investment." Since the start of the recession in 2008, institutional subsidies, Philadelphia's grant giving Cultural Fund, and state support for cultural and arts organizations have been cut substantially.

The cultural sector of the Philadelphia region supports 43,700 jobs, the most of any region in the country, while the Greater Houston region (#2), generates 29,100, and Washington (#3) generates 29,000 jobs.

It should be noted that New York City is not included in the report.

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Published on Monday, September 24, 2012 in The Philadelphia Inquirer
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